I go back to work on Monday after spending four weeks recuperating from what my surgeon called a "giant" ventral hernia surgery. Spending a month at home, with only the occasional outing to meet a friend for lunch, or go to the doctor left me with a lot of time with only myself for company. Like 99% of most of the women I know, I spend way too much time in my head and during all this alone time I was rambling around in there like a teen scream queen in a haunted mansion.
I made a discovery or two about myself and that is good, even though some of them may not be the most positive. That is okay though, that knowledge gives me the power to work on internal changes. I learned the time spent looking out my back windows into my suburban back yard really brought me great pleasure and made me feel close to my late grandmother. Her sewing machine sat in front of a window looking over her back yard and she spent hours there. I called her just about every day while she was living. I would ask her how her day had been and she would always answer with some delightful thing she had seen through the window. She'd say "I watched two of God's baby squirrels play in the trees today, they are truly acrobats" or "I saw God's mockingbird building a nest today". I actually remember feeling sorry for her at times because her world was so small. Over these last few weeks, I've discovered that my back yard world is a huge as the universe. I will miss my windows when I go back to my cave of an office on Monday.
I've always been an avid reader, but with working full time and managing a home, I only get to squeeze in a half an hour or so each day of reading during the week. Weekends are full of errands and yard work and socializing. I rediscovered the joy of kicking back with a good book and losing yourself in it for hours. Several friends sent me books to read while I recovered and while I have not gotten through them all, I plan to begin finding more time to devote to quiet reading and savor each book like it deserves.
I fell in love with my home during this time off. It isn't the newest or grandest house, there are cracks in the walls, the grout in the bathrooms really needs to be cleaned, lots of trim needs a coat of paint, but it is comfortable. I spent time in every room while I've been off (except Kim's office, I am nearly certain that Jimmy Hoffa is in there under all that mess). Usually we live in the den like most folks, but since I had to sleep in the recliner in that room most of my time off, I didn't want to spend my days in there, too. I ate in the dining room. I read or napped in the living room. I sat in the comfy chair in our bedroom and read or talked with friends on the phone. I propped myself up on the bed in the guest room and played games on the iPad. I enjoyed my house and gave thanks daily for being able to have such a comfortable home.
I'm not mentally or financially ready to retire, but spending this last month at home has been a gift. Sure, I didn't feel very good during most of it, but it still was a lesson in slowing down and appreciating each day. I am ready to get back to my routine, but I am promising myself to take a day once in awhile to just stare out the back window watching God's squirrels and birds, to sit and quietly read for hours and to enjoy the home front.